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TYLER – The Northeast Texas Public Health District (NET Health) is assisting the statewide effort to prevent transmission of the Zika virus by sharing the recent announcement from Texas Medicaid that mosquito repellent products have been added to Texas Medicaid and CHIP health plans, available for females aged 10 – 45 years, and pregnant women of any age, who have Medicaid coverage.
“NET Health is committed to educating our East Texas communities about protecting their families from the Zika virus,” said George Roberts, C.E.O. of NET Health. A doctor must prescribe the mosquito repellent and the client must retrieve their prescription at a pharmacy. Medicaid registration and renewal application assistance is available at the NET Health Center for Healthy Living, 2815 Frankston Highway in Tyler.
The Zika virus is most commonly spread through bites from the Aedes aegypti mosquito, and this breed of mosquito usually travels no farther than a distance of 250 meters, or 820 feet. No local transmission from a mosquito bite has been detected yet in Texas, due to the prevalent use of window screens, air conditioning, insect repellent and other mosquito control efforts that minimize transmission.
“Preventing mosquitoes from breeding near our homes and in our communities minimize the possibility of getting a mosquito bite,” said Roberts. “Everyone should remember the Four D’s of mosquito prevention:
DEET – apply mosquito repellent that lists DEET as the active ingredient.
Drain any standing water that you find on your property
Dress in light, long-sleeved shirts and pants
Dusk/Dawn – avoid outside activities at dusk and dawn”
Most people infected with the Zika virus have mild or no symptoms. For those who develop symptoms, the most common symptoms are fever, rash, joint pain, and conjunctivitis (red eyes), generally lasting a few days to a week. Zika can cause severe birth defects in unborn children whose mothers are infected while pregnant. Women ages 10 – 45 who have current Medicaid insurance and pregnant women who have Medicaid insurance may receive two (2) cans/bottles of mosquito repellent each calendar month until October 31, 2016.
As of August 10, 2016, there have been 99 confirmed cases the Zika virus in Texas. This count includes three pregnant women, two infants infected before birth, and one person who had sexual contact with a traveler.
Updated daily case data and information regarding the Zika virus in Texas is available at “TexasZika.org.”
About the Northeast Texas Public Health District (NET Health)
The mission of NET Health is to promote health, prevent illness and protect our community. As the local public health department for the City of Tyler and for Smith County, NET Health serves a vital function for our northeast Texas citizens with our Departments of Immunizations, Tuberculosis Control, Laboratory Services, Vital Statistics, Public Health Emergency Preparedness, Disease Surveillance, Environmental Health, WIC (Women, Infants and Children) and Community Outreach. More information is available at HealthyEastTX.org.